One of the things I decided to do after getting married was to change my email address. The previous one was my first initial and my last name (now my maiden name). Yes, I could have forwarded everything to a new address and kept using my old account, but there is something so nice about a fresh slate. It’s like the draw to the fresh coat of snow, or the first day of school when all the pencils are newly sharpened and the notebooks fresh and clean. It’s a way to let any previous mistakes fall to the past and concentrate on the future.
You don’t notice it, but email is EVERYWHERE. So many accounts, so many spam lists that got a hold of my address and never let go, so many people that need to be reminded I have a new name please and thank you. I jokingly told my husband that I would never divorce him based on all this work! Yet, it is rather cathartic to strip away the old information, to streamline what information I WANT rather than what marketing agencies think I need. This time it’s a bit more complicated since I have 2 addresses now, my name and my handle. Anything going to my new name email is professional, it’s family, it’s friends. My handle is my online identity and includes all online accounts that aren’t bills. It’s an important distinction and helps with the whole focusing and reinvention that is going on overall.
Cleaning up one’s virtual presence just makes sense to me, but it’s generally such a daunting task I can’t imagine someone doing it without a significant catalyst. It’s like how everyone looks at their material possessions when they move. You take a long hard look at that table that’s been in the basement since the day you moved in, the closet of clothing full of things you haven’t worn in years, that pile of magazines and catalogs you told yourself you would read tomorrow. With email it’s the vacation spot you want to go back to someday, that awesome store you shopped at once but can’t really afford, that organization you donated money to and might again a year from now. We keep so much virtual clutter it’s amazing. I’m beginning to see how things like pinterest become so popular. Here you can place all those sites, organizations, stores, items for later purchase in nice categories for later. To unclog your daily bombardment of “must haves” and “must reads” and really get to what you want to know. One of these days I’d love to open my inbox and not have that list of email up for immediate deletion. It might be a dream, but it’s now or never.
What do you find helpful to combat the virtual bombardment?